Gender & Tech

How does gender impact technology usage and design?

Agent-like technology, such as voice assistants, social robots, and embodied conversational agents increasingly enter our public and private spheres. Alexa, Cortana, even automated announcements on public transport – they all have one thing in common: a voice or avatar that implies strong associations with femininity. The android robots Sophia and Erica, designed as conversation companions, embody appearances, behaviourism and speech patterns that draw on traditional subservience assigned to women in cis-binary concepts of gender. This raises several questions as matters of concern: What are the dominant power structures that drive the design of virtual assistants and conversation companions? How does machine learning reinforce stereotypes? And what are the societal consequences of these technologies? On the other hand, Gender HCI also raises questions if something like gender-specific usage differences exist and how they can be taken into account for gender sensitive design.


Relevant Related Projects


RoboGen 2018-2021

RoboGen 2018-2021

In this project, we develop gender-sensitive interaction paradigms for an embodied social...

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GENUINE 2011-2013

GENUINE 2011-2013

This is a project on gender sensitive user interface design…

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Relevant Related Publications



Weiss, Astrid; Pillinger, Anna; Spiel, Katta; Zauchner-Studnicka, Sabine

Inconsequential Appearances: An Analysis of Anthropomorphic Language in Voice Assistant Forums Inproceedings

Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, S. 1–7, Association for Computing Machinery, Honolulu, HI, USA, 2020, ISBN: 9781450368193.

Links | BibTeX


Ratzer, Brigitte; Weiss, Astrid; Weixelbaumer, Barbara; Mirnig, Nicole; Tscheligi, Manfred; Raneburger, David; Popp, Roman; Falb, Jürgen

Bringing Gender into Technology:A Case Study in User-Interface-Design and the Perspective of Gender Experts Artikel

International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 6 (1), S. 3–24, 2014, ISSN: 2040-0748.

Abstract | Links | BibTeX


Raneburger, D; Popp, R; Falb, J; Weixelbaumer, B; Mirnig, N; Weiss, A; Tscheligi, M; Ratzer, B

A case study in automated GUI generation for multiple devices Inproceedings

2013 Africon, S. 1-6, 2013, ISSN: 2153-0025.

Links | BibTeX